Health Tips for University Students

Graphics and Words by Caitlin Chuah

Cup noodles, all-nighters, hours spent on your laptop every day; these are just some of the things university life is known for. With the stress of living alone, examinations and assignments, it can be hard to put in the effort to take care of your health. However, fret not because we have gathered a list of health tips to ensure you stay fit and healthy at university.

Stick to a strict sleep schedule

Many students underestimate the consequences of sleep deprivation. Understand that lack of sleep can impair your ability to concentrate and more importantly, weaken your immune system, causing you to fall sick more often.

Therefore, you should stick to a consistent sleep schedule. Set a goal of how many hours of sleep you want to get every night and arrange your daily schedule around it. One suggestion is to create a fun bedtime routine to motivate you to go to bed. It could be reading a book, doing your skincare or calling your family. Additionally, try to keep daytime naps to a minimal and avoid all-nighters at all costs, as these can ruin your sleep schedule.

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Incorporate more physical activities

Studying at the library, sitting through lectures, working on your laptop; as you can see, university life can be quite sedentary. Hence, you must take the initiative to incorporate more physical activity into your lifestyle.

For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or walk to class instead of taking public transport. Additionally, you could take up a sport by joining a club at your university or the local sports centre. Furthermore, take advantage of your university’s sports facilities, such as the gym, swimming pool or basketball court. A good tip is to bring along a friend. This way you can motivate each other and have someone to hold you accountable.

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Watch your diet

When I say watch your diet, I don’t mean try to lose weight through some foolish fad diet. Instead, make sure that you are eating enough and eating nutritiously.

Stay away from the instant ramen and fast food. Instead, go grocery shopping and learn how to cook healthy meals. One good piece of advice is to prep your meals in advance. By doing so, you won’t have to stress about cooking every single day; whenever you want to eat, just take your prepped meal out of the refrigerator and heat it up. Additionally, keep healthy snacks around, such as nuts, fruits or yoghurt. This way you won’t be reaching for the chips or cookies anymore.

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Create a study-life balance

Stress is another factor that affects your physical health. If not properly managed, it could lead to serious mental health issues as well.

In order to create a study-life balance, you need to learn how to time-manage. You could create a daily study-schedule and stick to it so that you get everything done on time. However, set a limit on study-hours so that you can make time for recreation. Pick up hobbies such as painting, doing a sport or playing music to help you relax. It’s important to give yourself a break whenever you need to.

Lastly, if things get too much for you to handle, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to your friends and family about how you’re feeling, or even a counsellor. Many universities have an in-house counsellor that will help you with any issues you might be facing. Remember, your physical and mental health should always come first.

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